Happy Halloween! Have a Monster Party!

In Germany Halloween isn’t really that well-known or popular but in the age of international commercialism things are changing and you can now see Halloween-costumes in the stores, as well as sweets, decorations, and all kinds of other stuff. Also more and more Halloween-parties are being held, private or more commercial in clubs and such. Sadly the tradition to decorate the house for Halloween so far hasn’t made it over to Germany yet, because that I would really love to see. Egg throwing and vandalism though has made in to Germany.

For those who speak German Petra van Cronenburg has a really interesting article about the traditions behind Halloween with a special focus on France here on her blog. Puts things a bit into a new perspective.

Personally I like ghosts and ghouls, vampires and werewolves. I’m always impressed by the costumes some people come up with and all the amazing tutorials on Youtube. It’s the same elaborate impressiveness as the Venetian Carnival with its costumes.

One of the problems with parties at Halloween in Germany is that All Saint’s Day on November 1st is one of the quiet holidays, meaning that in predominantly Catholic regions public parties and loud public events are forbidden, which would mean that public Halloween parties would have to end at Midnight (officially it seems that they have to end sometime between 2 and 5 am, depending on the federal state). Not sure how it is with private parties, but there one has to keep the neighbours in mind.

Another tradition that doesn’t seem to really gain traction is the whole trick or treating. At least it doesn’t in my region, probably because it’s so very similar to the local carnival-traditions where children go from house to house in their costumes or even accost people on the streets begging for sweets or pennies. Not to mention getting sweets during the traditional carnival processions. And if you compare five days of carnival with one day of Halloween, I know what I would pick ;-). Although I did see a few kids out tonight, some even in Halloween costumes.

I’ve only ever had children ring on my door once and that wasn’t on Halloween but a few days before that and they weren’t in costume and a bit too old for trick or treating. No costume? No sweets!

And in the spirit of Halloween, let’s celebrate and have a monster party courtesy of the German punk-band  Die Ärzte.

And on Midnight tonight NaNoWriMo starts and it’s time to get cracking!

Ten things I’ve done that you (probably) haven’t

Inspired by John Scalzi and his list.

01) Managed to break a tooth implant while eating a piece of bread.

02) Celebrated the 4th of July with US-soldiers stationed in Berlin.

03) Crawled through a hole in the Berlin Wall.

04) Walked on the river Havel and underneath the Glienecke Bridge in the winter of 1989/90

05) As a tea-drinker, taught an adult coffee-addict how to work a coffee-machine. (I’m still convinced he flooded the kitchen on purpose so that he would get out of making coffee.)

06) Lived and worked for three months in Florida.

07) Had to evacuate due to a hurricane. (Okay, if you’re in the US or another country that regularly has hurricanes then this might not be too unusual but not so much for someone from Europe.)

08) Broke my little toe while doing a pirouette.

09) Had a debate with my boss about how long it took me to load and unload a dishwasher and why.

10) During my one attempt to fish I managed to catch part of an oyster shell.

Stocking up for NaNoWriMo

The countdown for NaNoWriMo is ticking and I thought that, in addition to get the actual novel ready for writing, it would be a good idea to stock up on some essentials to tide me over while I try to hit the necessary word-count every day. So I did a quick tour over the Rhine, aka the German-French border, to pick up a few things. I addition to the things I already have at home that should tide me over quite nicely.

Otherwise I might have to do another trip.

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View from my balcony

Sighting hot air balloons isn’t too unusual in the area where I live. Seeing them while standing on my balcony though is, especially this close.

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There were five of them and as it was already getting dark (these are from Friday evening) they were landing. They were close enough that I could see and hear the blue one opening their fire a few times to gain a bit of height until they came down in the field behind a few trees.

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The bobble behind the trees is the blue balloon while landing.

I just love watching hot air balloons. For me there’s still something magical about them (same btw with Zeppelins). I recently started a ’101 things to do in 1001 days’-list and flying with a zeppelin is on that list. Can’t make my mind up about a hot air balloon, mostly because of my weird issue with heights, where the height isn’t the problem but the firmness of the ground I’m standing on is.

Cosplay Piano “Game of Thrones” video + a look behind the scenes

As someone who likes costumes and clothing I find cosplay always very impressive. Wish I could sew well enough to create my own costumes. So far my skills have only been good enough to do a Roman dress which is üretty easy to make.

And when cosplay is combined with something else creative it just becomes uber-awesome, like in this case.

The Behind the Scenes video is also pretty interesting as it gives you an idea of what goes into the creation of such a video. The effort and number of people involved is somewhat mindboggling.